Today we have a perfect pair of poached pears wrapped with love in puff pastry. Now that we have all those Ps out of the way, let's talk business.
This is the perfect Valentine's dessert. It's kind of fancy. But also kind of easy. If you're making it for your significant other or someone you're trying to impress, I would leave out the easy part and stick with the fancy. These pears took a dip in a little wine and sugar, and frankly I'm jealous. And if that's not enough, they're wrapped up in puff pastry like they're having a spa treatment. These are some lucky pears.
Poached Pears in Puff Pastry
inspired by this Pepperidge Farm recipe
4 pears (barlett or bosc), peeled and cored***
1 750-ml bottle of white wine (something sweet, like reisling)
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 whole vanilla bean, split and pulp scraped out
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
Combine wine, water, sugar, vanilla bean, and vanilla bean pulp in a medium saucepan. The size of the saucepan is important. If its too large, the liquid won't cover the pears. We want them to be submerged and happy.
Heat liquid on medium heat just until boiling. Add the pears to the liquid and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook until pears are fork tender, but not falling apart. Depending on the size of the pears, this could take 30 to 45 minutes. Remove pears from the liquid and set aside to cool slightly.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees at this time.
Remove vanilla bean from liquid and reduce heat to low. Cook sauce until reduced to about 1 cup or to a consistency to your liking. Set sauce aside.
Cut puff pastry sheet into 1/2 inch strips. After pears have cooled slightly (you just don't want any steam coming off of them), wrap each pear in pastry strips, starting at the bottom. At the end of each pastry strip, brush lightly with water, and attach the next strip. Continue wrapping to the top of the pear.
Place pears on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until puff pastry is golden brown. Depending on your oven, you might want to rotate the pan half way through the cooking time for even browning.
Spoon reduced sauce onto serving dish of your choice and top with pears. Serve and impress!
***This part is tricky. You're supposed to core the pear while leaving it intact. Right. After I did some digging on the internet for the right technique, I ended up coring the pear from the bottom with a paring knife. This was not the easiest thing to do. Using an apple corer or a melon baller would probably work better.